tv The Daily Rundown MSNBC December 30, 2011 9:00am-10:00am EST
♪ç pole positions mitt romney and ron paul lead but the story in our new poll? santorum's rise and gingrich's fall. the x factor? rick perry. the complete results of this morning's revealing nbc news/maris poll straight ahead. romney's acting like the front-runner again turning his fire back toward the president. but how intense is his support in iowa? will the i guess i'm for romney voters show up on tuesday night? the other secret to romney's success? tea party support divided among all of the other candidates.
and what happened to michele bachmann? four months ago she won the iowa straw poll and now it's looking like she may come in dead last come tuesday. it's friday, december 20th, 2011. i'm chuck todd. this is a special edition of "the daily rundown" coming to you live from java joes very early here in des moines. you guys can clap. it's okay. let's get right to my first reads of the morning which is four days left until the iowa caucus, our new nbc news/maris poll showed newt gingrich's cratering, rick santorum is surging and conservatives are splitting and mitt romney is the one benefiting. romney gets the support, 23% of likely caucus goers identified based on interest, chance of voting, and past participation. ron paul within the margin of error sitting at 21%. rick santorum technically in third at 15 but look at this bunched up number there. it's 15, 14, 13 between santorum, perry, and gingrich. santorum of course, perry sitting at 14%.
now why is mitt romney leading? the conservative vote no longer coalescing around a single mitt romney challenger. tea party supportersç who makep nearly half of the likely caucus goers have completely splintered six candidates each getting between 10% and 20% of tea party support. that's within the margin of error. bachmann and santorum, bachmann last at 10, santorum at 20. more worrisome for romney though is this number. only 51% of voters are firmly committed to his campaign. rick santorum and ron paul have more die-hard supporters, even rick perry technically ahead there and that's a number to keep an eye on, that intensity of support. remember the caucuses, you got to show up at a specific time in the evening on tuesday evening. it's not like you can go all day. the casual republican voter clearly seems to be leaning toward romney. does the casual voter show up tuesday night? now our poll confirms that newt is in a freefall. the only question is how low can he go? did we capture him in the middle
of his fall or at the end? only 35% of likely republican caucus goers say gingrich would be acceptable as the republican nominee. a full 35% call him unacceptable. millions of dollars in negative tv ads targeting him and played a major role in the erosion of his support. a new analysis of the campaign group reports that since december 1st 45% of all advertising in iowa have been negative ads aimed at newt gingrich. think about that. only 20% have been negative ads targeting somebody else or even mitt romney. it's easy to explain what happened to newt. what's interesting here is newt's fall is different from the perry fall or the herman cain fall. it wasn't based on a scandal. it wasn't based on a debate oops moment. it was an old fashioned, what the romney campaign might call a voter education campaign but it was theç fact that newt let it all go unresponded to. the only good news for newt is there's already a person at the bottom of the cliff. he's falling down.
and her name is michele bachmann. finally, the candidates are blanketing iowa trying to firm up support before tuesday's vote. rick santorum discovered that with momentum come attacks including this one from rick perry already. >> he was a prolific earmarker. i love iowa pork. but i hate washington pork. and senator santorum, he loaded up his bills with pennsylvania pork. >> and is this the beginning of santorum feeling his oats? he took aim at the national front-runner. >> i'm the candidate that actually was able to win in states as a conservative in getting democrats and independents to vote for us when i was out there fighting all these battles. mitt romney has no track history of doing that. in fact, he's only run as a moderate or a liberal and when he ran as a conservative, in the primary, last time, he lost. >> now, despite growing
criticism from republicans that his foreign policy is, quote, dangerous, ron paul continues to hammer the -- that simple message to his supporters. >> if i were an iranian i'd probably want to have a nuclear weapon, too, because you gain respect with that. i think we should not put sanctions there. they are an act of war. if china came and did that to our gulf of mexico and said, you know, you can't come in here. you can't trade. we would assume this is an act of war. >> and mitt romney is nowç sensing the opening. he avoided iowa nearly all year and now plans ten stops in the state in just three and a half days. he is likely to launch some 770 miles crisscrossing iowa. last night he focused his closing argument back on the president. >> this is not an election just to change presidents. it's an election to save the soul of america. i watched the president. he says, well, it could have been worse.
that goes down there with let them eat cake. >> there you go. that marie antoinette line. we'll see if that gets under the skin of the obama campaign. some people call it the full grassley. so far only one candidate has pulled it off. >> this is my eighth straight day in the state of iowa and i am proud to announce that i did a grassley. i have been to all 99 counties in the state of iowa and i tell you i had a wonderful time doing it. >> there you go. so why did they call it the grassley? because my next guest, republican senator chuck grassley, has visited all 99 counties every single year since he was elected to the senate in 1980. senator grassley? >> you're right. >> how you doing? >> glad to be with you. >> that buttering up by santorum still hasn't worked. you are still not endorsing anybody in the caucuses. first time. >> really it is. because i've been involved in most but i have found so many of
these candidates, i agree with on so many things and i think they have the capability of winning, being a good president. i just didn't feel it was right for me to inject myself one over the other and, quite frankly it was difficult for meç to do. you've served with senator santorum. what kind of advice have you given him? how has he conducted himself in this caucus? do you think he has done better than others as far as campaigning? >> from the standpoint of most -- in most caucus years, ground game is who wins. he's done it better than anybody else has done it. from the standpoint of his rise in the last two or three days or week or so, i think it's directly attributable to his having a constant message that's been well balanced between social conservativism, economic conservativism, and about the only one bringing foreign policy
into this issue on a regular basis. plus his hard work i think is the reason he has risen so rapidly. >> do you think, let's talk about the folks that are the top three. ron paul if he wins the caucuses, are you comfortable potentially with him as the republican nominee? if he was able to go from here and catapult and suddenly actually take this nationally? >> i don't think the united states can lead for world peace as we have for the last 50 years if we're not actively engaged and trying to prevent war as a host of fighting wars. >> so you would think ron paul is an unacceptable nominee for your party? >> i think that the next states are going to prove his foreign policy is not what this country wants. >> but you're not quite ready to say you, yourself, couldn't support him. >> i'm not prepared to say for any of these because i think that you lookç at the person a think that that's going to be the presidency. you found in the case of obama
he campaigned on one platform but particularly on foreign policy but he served on another platform being president. so don't forget that the president has a lot to mold what the next president is going to be as opposed to the person molding the presidency. >> mitt romney, if you -- are you comfortable with him as your republican nominee? >> yes. >> there was no hesitation there? there's hesitation on ron paul. >> i think you have to remember. you know, compared to having two world wars, in the beginning of the 20th century and not having any world war since then and the united states being a leader in a world community of nations, i think you've got to realize that losing 60 million people prior to 1950 in two world wars and not having that sort of human loss since then that americans' leadership has had something to do with that. >> you heard rick perry hit rick santorum on so-called earmarks
and pork. you're somebody that has been a defender of the earmark process. rick santorum is defending what he did as well. is rick perry over the line on that attack? >> no, not at all. because i think the people expressed in the last election, 2010, that earmarks is not the right process. >> you don't want to do them anymore? you don't like doing them? i know you're not right now. but you don't want them back? >> listen. my position is that there -- they're bad as far as public policy is concerned, but iowans pay taxes and if you're going to have earmarks iowans ought)to have their representatives try to help them. but i think we're better off if we don't have earmarks. >> how do you then, though, i mean the argument for earmarks and i've heard at one time mitch mcconnell make this argument but i think he backed off of it was you give too much power to the executive branch. that you're allowing congress to sort of cede some of its purse
string authority. >> what you are doing is putting politics out of the process of where money is distributed and it's being distributed on a professional, nonpolitical basis, when facist bureaucrats do it as oppose today members of congress. it is very important that you leave politics out of it. >> if ron paul wins the caucuses are you worried about the future of iowa and the nation? >> absolutely not. every caucus season you hear some reason why iowa should not be first in the nation. but let me assure you as long as iowa republicans and democrats stick together and as long as new hampshire republicans and democrats stick together and as long as iowa and new hampshire stick together way into the future you're going to have iowa be first in the caucus and you're going to have new hampshire being first in the nation primary. >> is iowa, the job of iowa republicans tuesday night to pick a president or win the field? >> probably if mitt romney is
if there's not a clear winn and i don't think there will be, we're winning the field. >> okay. senator grassley, always good to see you. is it weird not to be on the trail helping somebody this time? >> yeah, very unusual. but i'll tell you, i learned why i wouldn't run for president is because i followedç bob dole around all over iowa for two different campaigns and i'm not sure i would want to do that. >> weather is nice this time though. >> it is. >> no snow. i appreciate that. good to see you. up next at java joe's the incomparable. we got liz sedoti from the associated press and of course david yepsen. he doesn't live in iowa anymore but he knows the state like everybody else. they're grabbing coffee and getting ready to talk all things iowa. just ahead the president's schedule. still in hawaii. cold here. who can blame him? you're watching a special edition of "the daily rundown" live from java joe's here in downtown des moines.
mitt romney is making an all out push to win iowa and put distance between himself and his opponents but if he wins it will likely be due to support from voters like this woman. >> even though i love michele bachmann and would like to see her maybe be vice president or whatever i just don't think that she has a chance. >> david yepsen is director of the paul simon public policy institute at southern illinois university. he is now mr. sluky. before that he was the long-time
political editor for "the des moines register." liz sid oat sidoti, you're both. i talked with this woman in perry, iowa yesterday, david. and here she was, wasn't even asking her about romney. she had just come from bachmann, just doing the standard things we all do. at these events about a third of the folks are political çtouris but there are some iowans. and she was -- and it was just like, well, there's your -- i guess i'm for romney supporter. does that win the caucuses? >> it can. this is because caucus goers are activists. they're not typical voters. these are people who are surrogates for the republican party or the democratic party. they know their task is to help pick a winner and so they vote strategically. who do they trust? who do they like? also who do they think can win? i think the race in the end game is very much coming down to who can beat obama. >> you know, liz, it's fascinating. you do get the sense that all of
these folks attributed -- at the events are not even amateur political analysts. that's just what they've been doing in many cases for 30 years. >> right. >> but you're watching this thing and we see romney and we see the paul surge. what do we make of the santorum surge? is it going to keep growing? did we catch it at a moment where it's already still -- if we were in the field right now it would be even higher? >> i think it is very possible. i think what you may see over the next three days is, you know, look. evangelicals here, social conservatives, they are a huge block and splintered right now but also starting to wake up to the reality that paul or romney could win. that's why you're seeing a santorum surge. yeah it's pretty late in the game but at the same time there are a lot of undecided voters and as we know in iowa david knows this well after so many years is that, you know, it's late breaking. so the things that we expect to happen often don't.
>> there is a confluence of events here, david, over the next 96 hours. two bowl games,$juh and iowa state. okay. there's the thing called new year's eve. there's this holiday called new year's day. there's new year's day football on january 2nd and then january 3rd. i bring up all this because there is a theory of the case that the romney people hope is correct which is that the race is now frozen. >> i don't think that's right. i think there are a lot of undecideds and iowans can walk and chew gum at the same time. guess what is going to be -- >> you're not just playing to the audience. >> guess what a topic of conversation is going to be at a lot of the new year's eve parties. this is a topic of conversation even among a lot of people who aren't going to go to caucus but particularly among activists republicans. you talk about rick santorum, one thing he has going for him here is this surge is coming before anybody -- nobody has time to push back. >> yeah. everybody else's surge has been a surge and then a pushback. then a surge and a pushback. santorum is peaking just at the right time. >> i think what you'll see on tuesday is a confluence of two
things. one, romney and paul from 2008 have a network of support here. they have a get out the vote operation and it may have been dormant but they had something to build it on. what santorum needs is momentum to push people to the polls. >> it's fascinating. in our poll we asked, have you been contacted by the campaigns or, you know, sort of voter information and santorum was the low. it was under 50%. you know, people had said over 70% have been contacted by perry or romney or paul. that's a good thing to have because he's got room to grow but does he have -- do you sense he has the organization? >> no, i don't. but he's been around. he has been at town meeting after town meeting. at a time when you have tv commercials and internet attacks and youtube it's kind of refreshing to see a guy who's just done it the old fashioned ç way. you know, adding one stick at a time to the fire and now he's lighting it. >> that's exactly it. >> that is the old fashioned way. >> straw poll dead if michele bachmann finishes basically with
jon huntsman? >> no. there will always be the straw poll because somebody always wants to make money off the caucuses. >> there you go. liz sidoti, david yepsen, always good to talk to you both. 96 hours. a lot of fun. all tied up. up next we'll dig deeper into our brand new iowa poll and a look at why santorum is surging while gingrich is collapsing. just who will be coming out to vote on tuesday? the turnout factor. but first today's trivia question. besides the romneys, who was the most recent father/son combination in which the son ran for president and the father ran earlier for governor? most recent. tweet me the answer. first correct answer will get a followup friday from us. one of those it gets harder on fridays. just like the "new york times" cross word. the answer and more coming up. live from java joe's. you can clap. [ coughs ]
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as you can see here we're following all the developments of the candidates as they crisscross iowa and their final push before january 3rd. you're looking at live pictures here. west des moines, iowa where mitt romney and new jersey governor chris christie are meeting with voters. of course that's ann romney next to mitt romney on the screen. scheduled this morning for a sit down interview with our own andrea mitchell. catch that today at 1:00 on "andrea mitchell reports." we've told you the headlines. but what's behind the numbers in our new nbc news/maris poll that reallykú5f)xqd/ó where iowa vo are? the director of the marist poll joins me now. lee, after the big headline of santorum's uptick and gingrich's freefall, what were the next two most important points you think people need to take away from this poll? >> oh, i think there'sç a lot going on here. perry's now in the mix. there's a ceiling on ron paul's
support. he's running neck and neck with mitt romney but doesn't seem to have a lot of growth potential. so i guess the big story here is this is still a very unsettled race. we've had six front-runners in six months and now we go to the finish line and it's still maybe even a photo finish before we're done on this one. >> one of the things we were attempting to do with this poll and you've done a tremendous job, i think we're interviewing more actual folks to try to get our sample down than anybody else is in doing this because the caucus voter is tough to identify. we've been trying to figure out what kind of factor will turn out. i'll put up our tight, likely voter screen. that's the numbers we've been reporting, the 23/21, 15, 14, 13. then we have what is called potential voters, the assumption of a larger turnout and what would that do to change things? and it didn't change much. 23 romney, 20 paul. santorum loses a little bit of support and that's because right
now his intensity is among those paying the most attention. so the casual voter here, the higher the turnout, that's not good i guess for rick santorum. >> no, no. and i think for mitt romney. his intensity of support is lower than most of the others so that's the danger in the mitt romney numbers. you know, you're right. we started with over 3200 interviews to boil this down to 433 likely voters. that's the trick in that iowa caucus poll. ç ucus poll. of who is going to show up? there is no formula for that, no proof and copyright. that's the key. a big bucket. we distill it down, look at interests, look at intensity of support, we look at whether people have participated in the past. all of those things get us to the situation here where a premium is put on now to get out the vote of these campaigns.
this is a relatively close race, very close between romney and paul and, certainly, in the so-called second tier. that's become very, very intriguing. now that gingrich's support has been cut by more than half since earlier in december. >> that's right. very quickly, you know, we always say polls are snap shots in time. and it's possible we're capturing a snap shot when somebody is rising and somebody is falling. more likely scenario that gingrich gets to 20 or single digits and more likely scenario that santorum gets to 20 or single digits. >> well, probably santorum at the 20 and gingrich might be at the single digits. you know, the problem with newt gingrich aside from all of the incoming he's taken over the last few weeks, which obviously really hurt him terribly in this campaign, when we asked who's the true conservative, he's down with mitt romney in this. he's been talking about his ronald reagan background and yet
only single digits, 6% think he is a true conservative. that's a real problem in a place like iowa where conservatives, evangelical, tea parties, that's where it's all about and they are very splintered. for mitt romney, no anti-romney force has coalesced all the support of the anti-romney ç votes. that's why this could be a romney dream scenario where he might just eat this thing up. >> our partner here at nbc/marist and we have done all the transparency you want, everything, the entire way we conducted this poll is available both on our website, nbc politics.com and the marist website. lee, thanks very much. i think it's -- we're doing good work here. >> see you in new hampshire. >> see you next week. secret ballots. precinct captains and arcane rules? the caucus process. can be confusing but you know what? we're going to give you a primer here how it works and what history tells us about the
winners. my partner in crime in the political unit there is here. plus i'll have nat strong chairman of the iowa republican party pulling up a chair to tell us what he thinks of the 2012 field and how he thinks his party is fair. you're watching the daily rundown live from java joe's in des moines, iowa.ut step that we find so compelling? is it because taking a step represents hope? or triumph? at genworth, we believe in taking small steps every day to keep your promises, protect what matters, and prepare for a secure financial future. no matter where you want to go, one step at a time is the only way to get there. go to genworth.com/promises. [ male announcer ] it's easy to see what subaru owners care about. ♪ that's why we created the share the love event. get a great deal on a new subaru
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that's the cold truth! and we're back here live at java joe's. get your coffee. this is all of msnbc's home away from home. all doing our shows from here. monday of course our friends in the morning, joe and mika, are showing up. that'll be fun. anyway, also making headlines this morning, president obama took time out of his vacation in hawaii to lay a wreath at the pearl harbor memorial in honolulu. after a moment of silence the president and first lady scattered flower petals in the water to honor more than 2,000 americans who died in the attack
and anybody who is not i encourage you to go to that memorial. it is unbelievable. you still see the floating oil and gas from the sunken carrier. just four days away now before iowa lives up to its first in the nation status. how does this caucus process work? our political reporter put a primer together and he is live at we're calling it the willie cam. all right, buddy. the state's caucuses are the first time gop voters officially weigh in on who they want to be president. at 7:00 local time, 100,000 or so republicans will gather in more than 1700 schools, libraries, churches, and even some private homes. run by the party, not the state, there are no voting booths or levers to pull.
in most precincts just secret ballots, scraps of paper, folded over and turned in. iowa's status as first in the nation began in the 1970s. there can be surprises like pat robertson's second place finish in 1988. >> an impressive second place showing tonight is pat robertson the former television broadcaster. >> and mike huckabee's victory just four years ago although neither went on to win the nomination. >> i love iowa a whole lot. >> or they can help reinforce a front-runner like george w. bush in 2000. the road to the white house begins in iowa and for this year's republican candidates, it's been a bumpy ride. rick santorum spent the most time in the hawkeye state visiting all 99 counties. >> rick perry spent the most money, more than $4 million on ads. >> i'm the outsider who is willing to step on some toes. >> reporter: michele bachmann won the ames straw poll but has since faded. gingrich was leading by wide margins just three weeks ago but he's been humbled by attack ads. >> you're very, very kind.
thank you. >> reporter: to win the nomination a candidate doesn't have to win iowa but can't do poorly. only one republican, john mccain, in 2008, has finished outside the top three and gone on to win theç nomination. but an iowa win doesn't necessarily punch a ticket to the white house. george w. bush was the only nonincumbent to win iowa and go on to be president. you know, iowa voters may not have the best track record in picking presidents but this still matters because this is where it all starts. >> that's right. it's a winner. from the willie cam, i just love calling it that, we haven't decided if it is really going to be that or not but, willie, we've named a camera after you. we'll you see on monday. see you on the trail. now with me on this final weekend before the caucuses, the chairman of the iowa republican party, the guy some of these candidates either love or hate but they all love you until wednesday morning and then -- >> well that's what i say. >> then your twitter feed might get pummeled. >> that's what i tell first-time
staff. everybody loves you now but you're yesterday's news come wednesday morning. we love to have you here in the hawkeye state. >> let's talk about the process. explain what time do folks show up? what do they do when they show up? >> sure. two types of people will show up on caucus night. one if you're already a registered republican your name will be on the list in your precinct so you simply check in, have a seat. 7:00 central. >> you have to show photo i.d.? >> if you are already a registered republican and on the list you don't need to show photo i.d. but if you are not a registered republican and your name is not on the list you can register that night consistent with state law but you have to show photo i.d. or, well, show a driver's license or photo i.d. with proof of residency such as a utility bill. once you have a seat, through procedural maneuvers, starting the precinct caucus but then you go right to candidates' speeches or surrogates so you have one person can speak on behalf of each can@"ate for about two to five minutes. >> this is the so-called precinct captain? this is who you want. you need somebody who acts as your make the case for why you
should support acts. >> given the field that's been this fluid the person you choose as a candidate to have speak for you to kind of close the final deal is crucial. you need 1774 of them if you're going to cover every precinct. >> actually you probably need 3400 of them because somebody might not show up. >> exactly. >> you need a backup. >> you do. >> and this is where peer pressure potentially can go and yes you have a secret ballot. the democrats don't. they have the whole difference there. it is a secret ballot but the peer pressure could be the person speaks and their supporters are cheering and you find out your neighbor, oh, i didn't know he was with x. that's a factor? >> absolutely. think about the events you've been to, talking to iowans still vacillating between a candidate or two but when they see their city councilman or rotary president get up and make the case for here is why i'm supporting candidate x, that's persuasive when it's your friends and neighbors. i think it's vital who the campaigns choose to have stand up for them. then you do the secret ballot. >> all right. you're the chairman of the party and the referee. >> yes.
>> the campaign, too negative or about what you expected? >> it's been pretty bruising but it started later. i think we went through this four years ago. a lot of the pfleg tinegativity earlier but it is zñ/+ñwzktñrch compared to what the candidate will face against the obama machine. i am a big believer that it makes for a more battle tested general election nominee and ultimately the voters get a chance to look him in the eye and ask you those tough questions about what they see on tv or in their mail boxes or what they get on their phone messages. >> you were involved in a group called strong america pac and you just resç island. >> right. >> because you found out they did a mailer in support of newt gingrich. this is the one i had interviewed newt gingrich that called romney the second most dangerous man in america. so you didn't have any idea or sign off that they were doing this? >> it was completely inappropriate. in fact, i was cochair of a sister organization and when i found out the founder of that organization started a super pac to expressly advocate for a candidate i immediately resigned because i am the referee.
i'm impartial. i won't even vote on caucus night for example. >> you're not going to vote. >> i'm going to check in with my caucus but i'm not going to vote because you don't know what kind of dispute you may have to referee over the course of the evening. >> how concerned are you that the winner of the iowa straw poll is very likely to finish in sixth place or lower? >> well, that's something you don't know what the future of the straw poll is in any given cycle. you never know which candidate may need to use the straw poll as a boost so it is tough to extrapolate into the future which i hope will be eight years from now we'll be having this discussion as regimes. so we'll have to deal with it at that time. >> a lot of establishment types in washington wringing their hands and looking forward to the idea ron paul wins the caucus and this is their license to kill iowa as first in the nation. what do you say? >> it's the qu ae's the attack h every four years. one thing that shouldn't get lost is the message the candidates at the top of the polls are talking about -- less government, reducing spending, the ainger and frustration that exists in washington. i don't think anybody should
dismiss that because iowa is not just the first in the nation caucus state but bellwether state for the general election as well. >> senator grassley very uncomfortable with the ron paul foreign policy. are you comfortable if ron paul was the nominee of the republican party? >> as the republican chairman we'll do whatever we can to make sure iowa's six electoral votes are won byç the republican nominee. i can tell you one thing i hear in the debate with sioux city with evangelical christian voters and the republican base. that is one issue i hear frequently brought up. >> do they think that's gone too far outside of where the republican party is? >> yes. the position relative to iran and israel. >> matt, chairman of the party, good luck. i don't think you'll be the most hated man in the party come wednesday morning but you never know. don't have the crazy time. paul simon and dick gephardt people are still mad at the state party back in '88 because of the virtual tie. programming note for you this sunday. nbc's "meet the press" will be live in iowa. they got the exclusive interview with former senator rick santorum, the man of the moment,
and he's only going to be seen on sunday on "meet the press." we'll be right back here from java joe's. our caucus countdown continues. they're captaining up and getting ready to go. but first here at the white house no soup for you. the white house mess is closed today. there is no school voucher. good luck. we'll enjoy good soup out here. java joe's the soup of the day is loaded baked potato. only in iowa, right? carve it up. you're watching a special edition of the daily rundown live from des moines. on my jou, i've learned that when you ask someone in texas if they want "big" savings on car insurance, it's a bit like asking if they want a big hat... ...'scuse me... ...or a big steak... ...or big hair... i think we have our answer.
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right now. >> if i have to get beaten up every day in the media, attacked with negative ads designed by consultants who know nothing and paid for by people who don't care what they do to this country i will endure that for these kids. >> president barack obama came out to iowa three years ago and talked to you about hope and change. let me tell you, after three years of obama, weç are hopele and changeless and we need mitt romney to bring us back. >> we have the senior political reporter for political and a national political reporter for "the washington post." they're both here in iowa the center of the political universe. welcome to you both. all right. i want to talk about actually what we just heard from newt gingrich. i was going to start with polls. jonathan, the minute i heard him say that all i heard in my head was bob dole, 1988. tell him to stop lying about my record. that was an upset, angry newt gingrich. >> here it is the friday before the caucuses on tuesday.
he is not talking about issues, not talking about differences between he and mitt romney on the economy and jobs. he is focused on process. he has let these ads get under his skin so much that he is consumed by them tan's stopping him from driving any coherent message at a moment where he desperately needs to draw a contrast with romney. >> these caucuses are much about a process of elimination i think for these caucus goers as they are sort of an affirmation and in our poll we asked who is unacceptable as a nominee among likely caucus goers? at the top this wasn't a surprise. ron paul 41% said unacceptable. newt gingrich was next at 35%. perry, 24%. romney 21%. santorum 22% on that number. the gingrich number at 35%. just has the feeling you're sitting there going whoa. he may be in the middle of a freefall. >> it's true. we all came into this. he had a head of steam and we thought he was looking good. obviously worried that he had a discipline problem. not much money. he's got a little money now.
this onslaught of ads that he's fac faced has just damaged him so much. he hasn't had a coherent message. he slipped back to the old newt which is a kind of surly guy, grumpy newt gingrich. that's what we're seeing now from him at this point. >> the ron paul ceiling i think we know is hardening and the question is how did it harden? i want to play for you what rick santorum said about ron paul yesterday. it was a fascinating little bite. here's what he said. >> iowa needs to send a message. we want a candidate that is not in the dennis kucinich wing of the democratic party running for president under our ticket. >> jonathan, that was a shot at foreign policy. look, i went to a bunch of paul events yesterday. his entire message is an anti-war message. it isn't a little bit about the fed anymore. it is almost -- it is central to what he's doing. this is not about prying paul supporters away. those folks that are there, that is the number one thing they like. >> what santorum is trying to do is remind the main stream
republicans who like paul's small government message. that's not all you're getting with ron paul. you are also getting somebody who comes from the isolationist wing of american politics. i think that explains the rise in paul's negatives because folks out here who have seen his tv ads don't necessarily realize this is somebody who is to the left of the party's main stream on foreign policy. i think if we do see paul slip here in the final days it is going to be because he ultimately can only get his hard core supporters and he loses the main stream regular republicans. >> who kind of like the protest vote idea but then suddenly went whoa. >> here is another interesting thing that came out ofç our po. contacted by a candidate's campaign in the past month let me throw this one up here. ron paul 72% of caucus goers said they've been contacted. the next most was rick perry at 69%. romney and gingrich right after that. bachmann in the 60s. i want to focus on the perry thing. perry is the x factor here. i don't sense he is trending
downward but you don't sense in our poll that he is trending upward. there is room to grow. >> there is room to grow. primarily because he's got so much cash on hand and he of course is flooding the airways with messages about his faith, his record. so i think he is one to watch. out of here maybe he'll i think he's one to watch. maybe he will come in fourth. i think we got the top three maybe romney, paul, and santorum in some order. but perry has room to grow and move on to new hampshire. not a perfect fit, but in south carolina, this is a texas guy with a lot of swagger and a southern vibe to him. >> we'll dive more into south carolina, but the romney people believe it is. that's why they have managed this sort of victory lap they plan on doing tuesday and wednesday. >> there's space for one more surge. one more move in the next 48 hours. >> we'll talk more about south carolina coming up. tlif ya time. besides the romneys, who is the most recent father-son
he's got such a lead there. such familiarity with the folks there. >> how many of these guys say i'm going straight to south carolina? we know that's what perry's plan is if he does well enough. >> i think this thing is coming down to south carolina. the big question wednesday morning we'll have is, who all is going forward in the race? how many nonmitt romney candidates are left? >> doesn't romney want more now? >> absolutely. >> now they want to expand. >> you assume romney is going to do well in new hampshire. probably win there. but once he gets to south carolina, does he find newt, perry, and santorum? that's the best case scenario for him. until you have three conservatives taking 40%. >> but if it it's just down to paul. >> i am plugging the iowa weather. it's going to be 55 here tomorrow. you have your boots on.
you don't need them. >> i won't out without an overcoat. i said buck up. >> pizza in delaware cora. and the coffee here at java joe's is great. >> good to have you. that's it.ç this edition of "the daily rundown." thank you to our friends here at java joe's for hosting us. we'll be back here on monday. next is chris jansing. our home away from home. she has mitt romney now. bye-bye.
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